Prison sentence for skip operator who ran illegal waste site

 

An Oxfordshire-based sole trader has been sentenced to four months in prison suspended for a year, after he admitted running an illegal waste operation.

Geoffrey Parker, who trades as GD Parker Contractors Instant Skip Hire, was ordered to pay more than £7,600 after pleading guilty to two environmental offences at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

Parker used a site in Cox’s Lane, Ipsden Heath, Oxfordshire, to store and sort waste. He did not have the required environmental permit to do so.

The court was told that Parker lived in a farmhouse on the 
site and had run a skip hire business with a single truck from the farm for many years.

In 2014 officers from the Environment Agency discovered more than 40 skips filled with waste placed along the approaching lane to the farm.

A large amount of general household waste was seen in the yard area, while hazardous materials such as car batteries, leaking paint pots and containers of chemicals were found on site.

Parker had in October 2009 been issued with an injunction ordering him to cease using the site without a permit, but this was not followed.

The Environment Agency said Parker had “frequently flouted the law” and received repeated guidance and advice.

Parker pleaded guilty to the offences on 4 November and was sentenced on 9 December. He was ordered to pay £7,551.31 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge. His early guilty plea was taken into account during sentencing.

The court ordered that Parker removed all waste from the site by the end of this month.

Environment Agency officer Julia Leigh said: “An environmental permit protects the environment and communities from potentially harmful substances and such things as smell or litter nuisance, and requires appropriate management systems and infrastructure to be in place before any waste activity takes place.”